The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

August 16, 2013

Online courses coming to SCS

Marina Shankle

Thursday, August 15, 2013 — Stanly County Schools (SCS) will offer online courses to Stanly County students in 2014.

“While these courses are currently in the planning and development stages, the target date for completion is December 2013,” said Dr. Sandra Carter, assistant superintendent and director of curriculum and instruction.

SCS plans to provide students with 20 new courses, including advanced placement (AP), honors (H) and standard courses.

“Contrary to many beliefs, online learning can provide the same rigorous course instruction as face-to-face learning,” Carter said.

“Currently, there are 20 Stanly County educators receiving online instruction for teaching and learning strategies to create rigorous and relevant online courses.”

There are many advantages to online learning, Carter said.

“One advantage is that online learning can take place at any location or at any time of the day or night,” she said.

Online courses include discussion forums and individual and group assignments, allowing students the flexibility to complete course work within their own schedules.

“This flexibility allows students to receive course instruction while maintaining after-school employment, playing sports or other conflicts that may arise,” Carter said.

The variety of online courses available is another advantage to providing online courses in Stanly County, she said.

“Many of the courses that will be offered in Spring 2014 are courses that would otherwise not be available in our school system,” Carter said.

“Our online instructors are current educators who are teaching in our schools and who will teach online courses beyond the regular school day. As a result, we can branch out to add a different course in which they are highly qualified to teach, but cannot fit into their regular school day schedule.”

According to Carter, taking online courses also prepares students for success beyond high school.

“It teaches students the wold of digital learning, which will be encountered at some point in college or in a career,” Carter said.

The following courses are scheduled to be offered beginning January 2014:

Astronomy-H, Creative Writing-H, Geology-H, Spanish I, Spanish II, ACT/SAT Prep, AP Art History, Music Appreciation, American Humanities-H, Career Management, English I-H, Psychology-H, Advanced Functions-H, Accounting I-H, Health Team Relations, Ecology-H, Holocaust Literature Studies-H, Shakespeare Literature Studies, Pre-Calculus-H and Writing for High School and College Success.

“As Stanly County Schools continues to prepare our students for career and college readiness, we will continue to expand our online course offerings in the future, including middle school opportunities,” Carter said.

Students interested in registering for online courses or who have questions about online learning can contact their school guidance counselors for more information.